WASHINGTON - Amare Stoudemire draped a towel over his left hand as he walked into the privacy of the New York Knicks' training room an hour after the game, needing a sanctuary from prying eyes.
The specifics of what Stoudemire did immediately after Game 2 were unclear. Only this was certain: His hand was cut so severely that doctors and paramedics were summoned, drops of blood stained the carpet, a piece of glass in the door to a fire-extinguisher case needed to be replaced, and a bad night for the Knicks on the court got much worse when Stoudemire walked off it.
Stoudemire's availability, and New York's hopes, for the rest of this Eastern Conference first-round series against the Miami Heat look bleak at best, first because the Knicks were beaten 104-94 on Monday night to fall into a 2-0 hole in the best-of-seven matchup, then because of whatever emotions boiled over near the locker room afterward.
"I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start," Stoudemire wrote on Twitter about two hours after the game.
Game 3 is Thursday. Before the Knicks left the arena for the flight to New York, a team official said the extent of the injury is unknown. But in the locker room, Knicks center Tyson Chandler said he did not expect Stoudemire to be able to play when the series returns to Madison Square Garden.
His fans and critics were also quick to chime in online.
Dear Amare Stoudemire:Control yourself.Signed, Metta World Peace.#stoudemire— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) May 1, 2012
I'm WAY late on this, but how stupid do you have to be to do what #Stoudemire did?! You gotta turn that anger into adrenaline for Game 3.— Radio Jess (@TheJGoods) May 1, 2012
I guess the fire extinguisher won. #stoudemire
We all have done thing out of anger that we regret.That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This to shall pass.— Amar'e Stoudemire (@Amareisreal) May 1, 2012
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(Copyright 2012 by AP and WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)